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Palace: 7 LGUs want to be under ECQ
“If I’m not mistaken, there are seven pending requests,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.
Presidential Photo/Yancy Lim

Palace: 7 LGUs want to be under ECQ

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 6, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Seven local government units (LGUs) have asked the national government to place their areas under enhanced community quarantine or ECQ, Malacañang announced yesterday.

“If I’m not mistaken, there are seven pending requests,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

Roque did not identify the LGUs, but said the requests were discussed during the meetings of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Metro Manila, Central Luzon except Aurora province, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Benguet, Iloilo including Iloilo City, Cebu including Cebu City, Bacolod City and Davao City will remain under ECQ until May 15.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea recently approved the recommendation of the IATF to include Albay and Zamboanga City in the list of areas placed under ECQ.

Under ECQ, mass transportation is prohibited and only essential businesses and services are allowed to operate. Areas with low to moderate risks may shift to the more relaxed general community quarantine or GCQ.

Under GCQ, some forms of mass transport and establishments are allowed to resume operations but at a reduced capacity.

Roque said the IATF approved the updated classification and decision tool for declaration, extension or lifting of lockdowns in provinces, urbanized cities and independent component cities.

The task force also formed the IATF screening and validation committee composed of undersecretaries from the health, trade, labor, agriculture and social welfare departments.

“The committee is mandated to come up with a process with regard to appealing or validating decisions on declaring areas under ECQ or whether they should be downgraded to GCQ,” Roque said.

He said it is too early to say whether the ECQ in some areas would be extended until the government meets the target of having 78 testing centers by the end of May.

“The decision will be based on how fast the disease is spreading and our capacity to provide medical attention. But they have come up with clear guidelines that will be applied in making the decision. We will look at the data in the coming days,” Roque said.

Vince Dizon, deputy implementer of the national policy on coronavirus, said the challenge is to ramp up testing to levels that would make government comfortable enough to start easing restrictions.

He said the immediate goal in the next weeks is to test 25,000 overseas Filipinos workers in Metro Manila and the Greater Manila area.

HARRY ROQUE LGUS
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